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A very belated Father's Day celebration _ 43 years late

This Father's Day has special meaning to a Phoenix man who used his home computer to track down the dad he hasn't seen for 43 years.

After about six hours of work, Steve Voorhees said he discovered that his father lives in St. Petersburg, just 80 miles from where the 44-year-old Voorhees grew up.

He sent a Father's Day card to his 74-year-old father, James Breckinridge Carter, on Monday and got a telephone call from him Thursday.

"I feel like I just had a father," Voorhees said.

Voorhees, 44, said his parents separated in 1950 when he was a year old. His mother died five years later. He was adopted and raised by his grandmother.

Recently, Voorhees said he got the urge to locate his long lost father and used an information service that came with his personal computer to search a genealogy bulletin board.

Voorhees said he first found his father's birth certificate.

Then, he found his dad's most recent address.

Voorhees, who has no children, said he sent out his first Father's Day card "with a lot of reservations . . . I didn't even know if he was alive or if he even cared."

Carter said he nearly threw the card away because he thought it was a prank or a scam.

But he called Voorhees anyway and wound up having a 40-minute telephone conversation.

"It's a little hard over the phone to tell what he's like, but he sounds thoughtful," Voorhees said.

"It's sure a great Father's Day present," Carter said Friday. " . . . .There's so much to say. I'm still shocked."

Voorhees plans to videotape his reunion with Carter when they meet Aug. 1.

"We're going to have a big family history lesson," Voorhees said. "I've got 43 years to catch up on."